Some Thoughts on the Conclusion of Masechet Ketubot

May 26, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the major benefits of studying Daf Yomi is that one is exposed to the entire breadth of the (Babylonian) Talmud, something one may not manage even after many years of yeshiva study. In most yeshivot, the focus is on in-depth analysis of the legal portions of the Talmud. Only certain masechetot are generally studied[1], and more often than not, when the aggadic, non-legal sections of the Gemara are encountered, they...
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Ketubot 104: After the Rebbe

May 21, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The life of Rebbe, Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi, marked a turning point in Jewish history. He was the one who, strange as it may sound, acted in defiance of Torah law and decided that the Oral Law was to be written down (Gittin 60b)--by its nature an oxymoron. The times called for such a drastic measure. With exile and dispersion, persecution and the loss of the Temple, no longer could Torah be effectively taught orally. To save Torah from being...
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Ketubot 103: A Grave Matter

May 20, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  It is a sad spectacle when people fight over a dead man's estate. What can make such disputes more intractable is that often, both sides have a legitimate claim to a given asset. People of goodwill know the importance of compromise and are willing to forego their rights to help avoid disputes. However when it comes to money, goodwill often becomes a casualty.  Our Sages enacted many laws to avoid strive and promote peace[1...
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Ketubot 102: It's What You Negotiate

May 18, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
No contract can cover all eventualities, and only through goodwill and compromise can disputes be avoided when the inevitable happens, and something arises that is not explicitly dealt with in the contract. "One who marries a woman and agrees that he will support her daughter for five years, he must support her for five years". This seems simple enough. You marry a woman and, while not technically obligated to support her children--...
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Ketubot 97: Going to Court

May 17, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Many people, upon receiving notice of jury duty, try hard to avoid actually doing such. They have little time, interest, and often cannot afford the heavy financial price a long trial may entail--not to mention that often jurors are sequestered, cut off from contact with the broader world. If such is the discomfort for the judges, how much more unpleasant is it for the litigants themselves? I imagine there are few who desire to be involved...
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